The purpose of market definition is to uncover the most valuable and accessible opportunities for your organization to capture and grow market share.

For new initiatives, before even considering digital, teams, assets, products, or code, market definition ensures your organization is focused on capturing the broadest possible market share.

For existing products and services, market definition helps you focus your resources where they can most effectively be deployed, identify new market opportunities, and ensure you’re reaching the full scope of the diverse market you serve.


The benefits of successful market definition

Make better sales and partnership decisions

Through market definition, pinpoint the best ways to reach your market with sales, marketing, and partnerships.

Uncover areas for further research

By understanding assumptions and considerations related to each of the proposed market opportunities, your team can understand your options, and move forward with further research and validation in order to understand how to best capture these opportunities.

Identify and navigate potential roadblocks

Develop an accurate timeline and scope based on what it will take to access the market and overcome roadblocks along the way. Our comprehensive approach to system strategy explores this process in more detail.

Learn more about system strategy


The key considerations we look at which define the right market opportunities that drive business value include:

  • Understanding problems and pain points within market segments that your organization can solve;
  • Determining the weight of these problems and the value that is provided with a solution only you can provide;
  • Determining demand for the problems to be solved;
  • Determining market willingness to pay for the solution to their problem, including indirect paths to capture the market which derive revenue from possible distribution channels;
  • Identifying paths to capture the market through partnerships, distribution, sales, and marketing;
  • Identifying potential roadblocks to market access and factors that limit the size of the market, including competition and other market alternatives;
  • High-level outline of the scope, effort, and timeline required to capture the market;
  • Outline of assumptions and considerations related to each of the proposed opportunities in order to take next steps on research, validation, and scope of resources necessary to capture market share;
  • Understanding the full diversity of the market and how to leverage inclusive design practices to develop intentional and authentic engagement with the full scope of your market.

Market definition case study: providing elder care solutions for an aging population

The company we worked with on this market opportunity analysis project was founded with one purpose: to help people find retirement homes.

The premise that informed this was straightforward: we have an aging population who will need more care, the current retirement home industry is highly competitive, and as a result there is a sales and referral model in place that is costly to retirement homes.

But can a stronger understanding of the market and market forces uncover new opportunies to capture market share within the elder care industry?

Our ElderCare case study answers this question

Inclusive market definition

To best capture your potential market, your product or service will need to understand and embrace diverse audiences that may benefit from your product or service.

By using an inclusive design approach throughout the market definition process, we identify behaviours, contexts, and journeys for a wide range of potential users, rather than a narrow target group that may typically be considered.

Through this inclusive way of working, you can launch a product or service that reaches and serves more of your addressable market, avoiding alienating or leaving behind any potential customers.

More about our approach to inclusive design

Our approach to market definition provides the detail you need to make a decision on whether to invest in a particular market, to dig deeper into the opportunity with further research and business planning, or begin investing in strategy, design, code, and go-to-market strategies.

Your next steps begin with system strategy and customer journey mapping.

Interested in collaborating on a project or joining the team?